Border wall funding could delay Bangor pier project

An $89 million pier and maintenance facility at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor could be delayed to free up funding for a proposed wall at the US-Mexico border.

The Pentagon has released a full 21-page “funding pool” list of projects that have the potential of being delayed. Another Washington project that could be affected is a $23 million maintenance installation at the Army’s Yakima Training Center.

According to the Seattle Times, some of those projects include a $26.2 million refueling facility for helicopters at Joint Base Lewis-McChord; a $14 million support facility at Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane; a $19.45 million Navy fleet support complex on Whidbey Island; and a $66 million project to improve a correctional facility at JBLM.

These projects are slated to have contracts awarded before Sept. 30. The Defense Department released a statement Monday saying projects awarded before that date will not have their money distributed to the border wall for construction. It is unknown what projects the Defense Department will try to bankroll.

Governor Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson released a joint statement Tuesday opposing the use of funds for border-wall construction that were scheduled to be spent in Washington State. Both Inslee and Ferguson are “closely monitoring developments” and will file a lawsuit if a final decision is made to redirect money from projects in Washington.

Rep. Derek Kilmer of Washington (D), whose district includes Naval Base Kitsap, said the pier and maintenance facility project at Bangor would allow all three Navy Seawolf Class submarines to be homeported there.

“The message from Congress is loud — do not cut these vital military projects,” Kilmer said in a statement Tuesday.

If the Defense Department’s proposed budget for the fiscal year is enacted on time and as requested, then it’s possible that no military projects will be delayed to fund construction of a border wall, according to the department’s statement.

“No decisions have been made regarding specific projects funded by Title 10 U.S.C., Section 2808 (MILCON) funding,” DOD spokeswoman Heather Babb said.

—Tyler Shuey is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at tshuey@soundpublishing.com

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